Is celebrating our founders important?

Sarah-Renee Garner

Is Founders Day important? Yes, Founder’s Day is extremely important; in fact, it is so important that GSU has turned Founder’s Day into Founder’s Week. Students, faculty, and alumni, get the opportunity to learn about GSU’s humble beginning in several different enriching activities.

As a freshman, I did not take Founder’s Week seriously. I was not required to take an FYE class, so my attendance at any convocation was never mandatory. But as I matriculated on, and as I became more prideful in my school, I began to inquire about the history of Grambling, and I started to take Founder’s Week more seriously. 

GSU’s start as an agriculture-based school is the part that I find most interesting because I sided with neither Booker T. Washington nor W.E.B. DuBois, when it came to what they felt was best for the progression of black people. 

GSU’s creation, of course, aligned with Booker T. Washington’s views of how he feels black people should progress, and that was agriculturally.

Starting in 1901, Charles P. Adams was sent here by Booker T. Washington to continue the mission of the North Louisiana Colored Agriculture Relief Association. The NLCARA saw fit that GSU be a school dedicated to agriculture and educating black people about industrial skills. Adams, though primarily focusing on the agriculture industry, also wanted to educate black people on how to best serve their communities. 

Even though I disagree with the principles of GSU’s beginnings, I will always respect the courage that our founder had. 

His courage created a legacy of hundreds of thousands of educated black people who are making positive strides in their societies. 

His courage sparked educators after him to open GSU’s doors to other educational opportunities, and for that I will forever be grateful. Without our founder, GSU’s rich culture would not be what it is today.